On September 30 six members of my family made their way to the MCG for the AFL Grand Final, all of them Collingwood members. It was their first Grand Final! All were Gold Pass members for the Club, so they were assured of a seat for the game. My Granddaughter had flown down from the Gold Coast just to attend the game.
In 1966, I too attended a Grand Final, supporting my team who won by a point. Good old St. Kilda. I too was a Gold Pass member of the Club, but I had to line up at the Moorabbin Ground during the day and overnight on the Tuesday prior to the match for my seating tickets to the match. It was a good night with lots of theme-song singing, partaking of food and hot drinks and lots of fun and laughter.
In 2023 my family went to the game by train, whilst in 1966 I made my way to the MCG in my little Morris Minor early on Saturday morning. I lined up at the gates and spent the day watching the Grand Finals of the Under 19’s, then the Reserves before, at 2.15pm, the siren blew for the AFL Senior team to commence the match. Those days the only entertainment was a full day of football, not like the entertainment that is now provided.
It was an exciting game in 1966 and it was an exciting game in 2023. In the week prior I had asked my family who attended the match to enjoy every minute of the day as they were going to experience an excitement that only winning fans feel, right down to the last siren sound on the day. I relived my day at the 1966 grand final every minute of this year’s match.
In 1966 we won by a point. When that point was kicked, the siren sounded and for a split second there was complete silence in the stadium, the crowd then realising that St. Kilda had won was followed by this ‘almighty roar’. I have never experienced anything like this in the years that followed.
After the siren this year I was sent video of my son and his family taken when the siren sounded. The smiles and tears brought back memories of how I felt.
My family went from venue to venue on the Saturday night to hold onto the joy they felt. They went home for a short while and then attended the family day at Collingwood, whereas in 1966 I drove to Nepean Highway in East Brighton to Sierakowski’s pub. The Licensee, the father of Kev Sierakowski, served free drinks for two hours. Driving on to the Moorabbin Football Ground, I stayed the whole night – meeting the players when they returned to the Clubrooms; eating and drinking till all hours; (my car was bogged and I had many helpers getting it out); sleeping in said car for a couple of hours; then meeting up with my parents and brothers late on Sunday morning when they arrived for the Club’s Family Day. I was still wearing the clothes I left home in!
I was so pleased I could relive my Grand Final experience 58 years later through my family’s experience. It was so special.
with her brother Callum and Roxy.
friends after the match.